Why Running is Good for Weight Loss?

Running is a great way to lose weight and in particular body fat. Running as an activity falls under the category of aerobic exercise as it:

A. Increases the heart rate!

B. Increase the rate of breathing and thus the amount of oxygen transported to the muscles!

The importance of these two factors is that they enable the body to begin to use body fat as the primary energy source instead of glycogen. In the beginning of your run, stored carbohydrates in the muscle are the energy source. This lasts for about 30 minutes until the amount of glycogen is reduced by 30%

While you can’t measure the reduction by yourself, it occurs when your heart rate -

A. Rises to a level above 65% of your maximum heart rate which is, 220 - Your Present Age

B. The time spent exercising reaches about 30 minutes

At this point, your body will automatically shift to using a fat tissue. The reason that this happens is to preserve the glycogen remaining in the legs and buttocks for general use when you stop running.

Calories Used

The act of running by definition means that at a given point in time, both feet are off of the ground at the same time while walking always maintains one foot on the ground. This extra effort of propelling yourself into the air requires more calories to be used and thus causes more weight to be lost during your run. And while it is true that walking briskly will cause your heart rate to rise to a level that may be equal to running, walking uses fewer calories than running. The number of calories that a person, either man or woman will use is determined by:

A. Your body weight

B. The length of time spent running

C. The speed at which you run

Running is usually done at a rate of greater than 4 miles per hour and will burn about 500-600 calories per hour for an 180 lb(82 kg) person. To calculate your own rate, multiply the percentage difference between your weight and this subject. For example, if you weigh 135 lbs. (61 kgs), that is 25% less in body weight and so would use 25% fewer calories or about 375-450 calories per hour.  A person weighing 225 lbs. (102 kgs) would use 25% more calories or 625-750 calories per hour.

Running faster will burn more calories as it takes more energy to increase the speed.  However, the increased speed that causes a moderate increase in the use of calories, also causes an increase in the heart rate as well. There comes a point at which running stops being an aerobic exercise and becomes an anaerobic one due to the heart rate being too high.  At this point, the body stops using fat as the energy source and

A. Goes back to using glycogen for energy

B. Begins to use muscle tissue as an energy source

Imagine the shape of well-trained marathon runners. They not only have lost most of their body fat due to high energy running, but also have lost most of their muscle mass as well.  If 65% of your maximum heart rate is the low end of the correct heart rate range, the upper end of the range is 80%.

A moderate rate of running will enable:

A. Maximum fat loss to occur

B. A greater amount of exercise to be done without fatigue

C. A shorter recovery period prior to you next session allowing for the most weight loss to occur.

“Running yourself into the ground” won’t cause the most weight loss possible.  But rather the more that you run in total, the more weight you will lose!

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